practice assurance scheme

Information for CIPFA members who hold practising certificates on the closure of the scheme.

Closure of the CIPFA Practice Assurance Scheme

The Practice Assurance scheme will be closed with effect from 31 December 2014. Members in Practice will continue to be required to register with a Money Laundering supervisor, in most cases HMRC. You can access the HMRC website online.

We realise that members were given short notice of the end of the Practice Assurance scheme, and we are very sorry that we were not able to give more notice. We were not able to go public until we had reached agreement with HM Treasury and HMRC, but once we had got to that stage, we needed to act quickly in order to catch the amendments to the Regulations that Treasury are making this month. This requirement unfortunately meant we could only contact members this month. I am sorry for the inconvenience this has caused, but we thought it best to take action to avoid members paying twice in 2015 and, as explained below, this will not place members in a difficult professional position. While we did not have time to consult members in practice generally, we did consult the Institute’s Honorary Officers, the Chair of the Practice Assurance Committee, the Members and Students Development Board and the CIPFA Group Board.

Early in the New Year, members in practice will be receiving a communication direct from HMRC which should give the details of registering with them. HMRC have also indicated that they realise that formal registration may in practice extend a little into the New Year in what is effectively a ‘transition period’ from our scheme to theirs.

We have learnt much from the Practice Assurance scheme, and we continue to believe that the standards implicit in the scheme are important. The scheme has served its purpose over the last seven years, but we need to adapt to changing circumstances, as explained in the previous communication. The support materials will continue to be available, and the difference is that we will not be issuing certificates, or sending out reviewers, and ensure members receive value-for-money from their institute and are not in any way over-regulated. For example, the review visit represented by far the largest part of the costs of the scheme while falling outside the relevant statutory requirements.

We hope that members will accept our apologies for any concern this has caused, and will let us know if there is any further clarification they would find helpful.